PARKVILLE, Mo. – Park University was recognized as a Champions of Character Five-Star Institution in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). In 2016-17, the Pirates were recognized as the Gold level.

The NAIA's Champions of Character program represents five core character values, which are Respect, Integrity, Responsibility, Servant Leadership and Sportsmanship. As an institution, Park University's six core values are Accountability, Civility and respect, Excellence, Global Citizenship, Inclusivity and Integrity, with a miss to provide access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

The Champions of Character Scorecard measures an institution's commitment to Champions of Character. Institutions are measured on a demonstrated community to Champions of Character and earned points in character training, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition and character promotion. Institutions earned points based on exceptional student-athlete grade point averages and by having minimal to no ejections during competition through the course of the academic year.

Some things Park is big on with the Champions of Character when it comes to the community-service are outreach aspects. All teams do different community-service in the area. Some of the community-service has been with Harvesters, Special Olympics, Northland Christmas Store, Platte Senior Citizens Clean-up Days in the spring and fall, helping at Lansing Elementary PTA with the 5K run/walk and the kid's dash and many more different outreach opportunities.

To be named to the Gold status, an Institution must total at least 90 of a possible 100 points, with Silver Institution earning between 75 and 89, and Bronze collecting between 60 and 74 points.

In all, 183 member institutions in the NAIA were named Five-Star Institutions, including 66 Gold-level status, 76 honored with Silver-level status and 41 with Bronze-level.

In all, 12 current American Midwest Conference members were named to the list of 2016-17 Five-Star Institutions.

To see the completed list of all NAIA schools and conferences recognized as Five-Star institutions click here.